Snowmuch fun

From the kid poet in me… to the kid poet in you. :)

 

Southern Snow

 

Southern snow is still my jam.

Its rhythm? Nice and slow.

Its soft song lulls our world to sleep

and stops our busy flow.

 

Southern snow has quiet strength.

Three flakes can stop a bus.

It makes our school kids happy and…

administrators cuss.

 

Southern snow is not afraid

to cause a ballyhoo–

it binds us all together…

Like frozen, crazy-glue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday in Verse

Today I start a new weekend series post, Saturday in Verse. As the title implies, every Saturday (ish) I will post an original poem. So here is my first offering –

As a writing exercise, I used Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends” to form my poem, “Darkness Cannot Reign”. It is not a perfect replica of Silverstein’s rhythm or rhyme scheme, but I enjoyed being able to use it as a foundation for creating a new poem.

Darkness Cannot Reign

by Donna Earnhardt

There is a time when the daylight wanes
And before the night profanes
it’s then the sky glows blue and pink
while sun and moon rejoice in sync,
Then we watch as the stars dance to and fro –
for darkness cannot reign.

Let us all take a breath – and pray for the world
who moans under shadow’s chain
Let us pray for a time where peace overflows
for even in pain – creation still knows…
when we love as we are loved– perfect love overthrows
and darkness cannot reign.

For even in pain – creation still knows
When we love as we are loved- perfect love overthrows —
For Yahweh is King – and his Son, from death arose…
and darkness cannot reign.

Sons

I’ve been mulling over something…

God is in the business of restoration and reconciliation. He is in the business of reconciling His family. And we are part of that family. He is the Father of creation — and we are part of that creation.

All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:14-15)

Here’s what I’m chewing on…

In the scripture, the sons were usually the ones who received the inheritance. There were rare occasions when daughters were treated as the sons were (Job treated his daughters equally), but mostly the sons received the inheritance and the blessing that came from being the sons.

But in this portion of scripture, we are told that we are ALL sons if we are led by God’s Spirit. We are actually called “sons” — and told that we receive the inheritance that goes with it. I believe the use of the word “son” was deliberate so everyone could see that in  Christ, we are all loved and treated the same in the eyes of God. According to Galatians 3:28 — There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

So going back to the original verses: All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 

  1. All those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. (I’m a son, you are a son — therefore an heir.)
  2. And if we are sons, we didn’t receive a spirit of slavery.  Spiritual slavery chains us in fear and we are forced to work to survive. But God doesn’t chain us or enslave us! He makes us his CHILDREN and we are given the Spirit of adoption (again, an heir to what the Father wants to give us). We are FREE. Not chained. Not bound. But free. The sons of the King. It is nothing we have done or can do… our sonship is a gift from the Father.
  3. And since we are then children of God — we can cry out ABBA, FATHER! (the same words Jesus called out). And thus, we are filled with the Spirit of the living God. Wow.

I’m reminded of the story of the Prodigal son and his return to his father. Too many times, we forget who GOD IS. When we are far from God, and  finally turn around and come back to pursuing our relationship with Him, it seems we also sometimes come back bargaining with God to forgive us just as the Prodigal son was ready to bargain with his father. “If you forgive me for this, then I will…”. But God doesn’t need our bargains!  He already paid the price — the ultimate price. He calls us by name and we are part of the family. “He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?” Romans 8:32

We have to remember that our unfaithfulness doesn’t make HIM unfaithful. Instead, His faithfulness and grace shines ever brighter in the midst of our mess ups! And just like the prodigal, we are welcomed home as His children. FORGIVEN and FREE.

Even as messed up as our flesh can be… God redeems. God forgives. God loves.

Like I said… God is in the business of restoration and reconciliation. He is in the business of family. I would love to hear your thoughts on these scriptures and what God has revealed to you through them.

**Here is a song that Keith Green shared in 1982. He talks about the fact that we are God’s kids.. and he loves us and wants to bless us.  We are God’s children. He doesn’t want us to strive, but rather remember that we have had it all done for us. We are His children!**

Breaking Chains

When I was pregnant with my first child, I experienced a panic attack for the first time ever. At the time, I didn’t know what it was. I felt like I was going to die… yet I could breathe as normally as I am now. It was as if I was being smothered by pure fear. I felt chained! I wasn’t… but that’s how it felt.

I had people praying for me (mainly my mama!) and came through the first attack, thinking it would be the only one. I did have a few more during that first pregnancy, and they disappeared after her birth. But they returned during my second and third pregnancies. I was so thankful not to have many attacks during those times, but I had enough to learn something very intimately…

There is power in the name of Jesus.

During those nights, when I woke up in a sweat and feeling like the room was going to close in on me, I walked out of the house and stood in the fresh air… unable to utter anything but the name of Jesus. Over and over again I whispered his name into the dark of night. And every time — the fear that had been shaking me to the core disappeared. EVERY TIME. It washed over me like the waves on the shore, destroying what had paralyzed me.

I didn’t have a rehearsed prayer. I didn’t have a well-thought out rebuttal to the faceless-fear that gripped me. But I didn’t have to. In the midst of the attack on my mind, emotions and my body…. I whispered the name above all names. Jesus… Jesus… Jesus. Over and over and over again.

I shouldn’t have been surprised — but I was. Just speaking His name brought peace to my heart and drove away the darkness. I am still in awe.

It’s been many moons since I’ve had that type of fear grip me. But there have been many more occasions that I’ve lifted the name of Jesus as my only prayer. His name is sometimes the only word that crosses my lips — and His name is more than sufficient! Just as it says in Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, since we do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words.”

I know that there is power in the name of Jesus… a power I can’t comprehend, no matter how I try. It can’t be explained. I can only share my experience in hopes that it encourages someone in some way, to reach out to Jesus knowing that He will bring hope to the midst of despair and peace in the midst of fear.

And this song… this song sums up my post. :)

 

 

In a Stable…

While sitting at church this morning, part of the scripture jumped out at me and really held on. The angel told Mary — “Fear not… for you have found favor with God.”

I know the angel was talking to Mary, but the scripture tells us that if we are in Christ, we too have found favor with God. Not because of our good deeds, but rather because of His grace.

And as I pondered this, another verse popped in my mind: “… He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

When paired with the Christmas story, what I wrote in my journal was this: What God has birthed in you (and in me)… He will bring to fruition.

It doesn’t matter what your situation — God is not limited by the walls around you. He cannot be hidden by the dark night of depression, the dark night of doubt or the dark night of loneliness and fear — instead…the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it!

That also means there’s no hiding from Him, either.

Sometimes, because of fear, we can try to hide in a “stable” of our own making. But other times, we feel pushed away from everyone and mangereverything — into a “stable” that we don’t want to be in.

But we worship Jesus, who was born in a stable – an actual stable. He was born amid the itchy hay, the barn animals and yes… most likely the smell of manure. But… the glory of God was not minimized because of the situation he was born into. Rather, God’s nature was revealed even more.

Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man – then laid down his life for us… and picked it up again. And all of this was done because God so loved the world…

NOTHING can separate us from a love like that.
Not fear.
Not darkness.
Not feelings of loneliness or depression.

So no matter what “stable” you find yourself in right now…

Fear Not.
What God has started in you… He will finish.
HE created you.
He loves you.
He has a plan for your life.
He knows all about your situation…
and He has not left you.
And because of Jesus’ sacrifice, His grace, His covering…
you have found favor with God.

Fear Not!

‪#‎Christmas‬ ‪#‎mangertotheCross‬ ‪#‎Emmanuel‬

Christmas is already here

I am ready for Christmas.

I don’t have all my presents wrapped.
I don’t even have all of them bought.

And… my house is still a mess.

But I am ready for Christmas.

I am ready for family time – time with no school work — time with no deadlines.

I am ready for nights by the Christmas tree — scrunching our eyes so the lights twinkle — and snuggling under a blanket.

I am ready to hear Christmas Carols – by young voices and old voices, even if they are not sung in tune.

I am ready to hear the Christmas story read and tear up, like I do every year, when I think about how Mary must have felt, carrying the Savior of the world.

I am ready for Christmas.

 

 

Speed Drawings

I am a fan of art. I want to learn to draw at some point in my life — right now I just want to get another book published! :)

So while I wait for my season to learn to sketch out what is in my head, I want to share some artwork from someone who can already draw — @shiftingart! This is her latest speed drawing of Johnny Deep as Edward Scissorhands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykGb952sX0Y

The music has a creepy-victorian vibe to it, but you can always turn off the sound. The drawing itself? INCREDIBLE! I am not a fan of the Edward Scissorhands movie (a bit too sad and Frankenstein-esque for me), but I’m a huge fan of this artist and this speed drawing. WOW!

Seriously — check it out here: https://youtu.be/ykGb952sX0Y

 

Are you Struggling?

At a recent retreat I attended in Moravian Falls, I had the opportunity to paint a tree. I have always wanted to paint… but it hasn’t been in my “wheelhouse”. I was glad I was trying something new — but felt completely out of my comfort zone.

So when Lisa​ watched me work, she asked, “Everything okay? Are you having fun?” I answered as honestly as I’d ever answered before. I said, “No, not yet.” I wanted it to be okay. But I was struggling… and I couldn’t lie. And I knew my painting was far from beautiful at that point.

Fast forward a bit… The painting sits on my piano. And every time I look at it, I actually think it is beautiful. But in that moment at the retreat when LIsa asked me that question — I didn’t pretend it was all okay. I didn’t act like I was happy about what was going on when it was clear I was having a hard time. I didn’t know what I was doing. And in my eyes, my art wasn’t turning out the way I thought it would.

But now I see beauty where once I only saw hard stuff.

So I’ve been thinking —

Moses struggled. David struggled. Esther struggled. Ruth struggled. Peter struggled. Paul struggled. Jesus struggled. (Remember the garden scene?).

How often in life do we pretend all is okay… even when it is clear we are struggling? If someone asks if we are okay, we nod and say, “YES” — even though we know it’s not true. It’s like we don’t want to admit that the struggle is real and that we are in the midst of it. Admitting we are struggling doesn’t lessen our faith. For me, when someone tells me they are struggling, I can relate to them more. NOT because misery loves company, but because they trust me enough to share what is really going on with them… and I, in turn, know I can do the same.

And yes, I believe that on the other side of struggle… beauty is revealed. Look at the mountains — think about how they are formed. WOW. That is struggle — and they are majestic! .And trees? The push their way up through hard earth. They struggle to survive but then provide shade and clean air! And when caterpillars are transformed into butterflies? It’s a struggle that results in one of the most beautiful metamorphosis ever!

And what about birth? That is a struggle indeed. But the beauty and life that can come on the other side of it? WOW. WOW. WOW.

I am learning to rest more and more in Jesus. I don’t have to have it all figured out. I don’t have to know everything. I don’t have to have everything perfect in my life. I can just BE.

In that assurance… I can also know that in the struggles.. even in those moments where God asks, “So… is everything okay?” I can be honest with Him and know that He understands. He knows my struggles. He NEVER leaves me. And just like my babies come to me and snuggle up close in times of deepest teen angst… I can do the same with God.

And what if we all did that for each other? What if we were to be real about our life, our pain, everything that we are wrestling with? If we start doing that, then I believe we will start to see glimpses of the beauty that we didn’t see before… even in the struggles.

This is a beautiful song that speaks to us in our struggles… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIZitK6_IMQ

and another that speaks to us right where we are at when we are struggling…

Supporting the Arts

So — there are lots of ways we can support the arts.

We can buy actual art from the artists.

We can give money to schools that teach up-and-coming artists.

We can, by word of mouth, share info on all of our favorite artists and their fabulousness. (Yes, I made that word up. So sue me.)

So here are my “word of mouth” shares for the day…

You can also connect with her on @shiftingart FB page.

And if you like her work on youtube or the other pages… give her some thumbs-up… shares… and comments.

#supporthearts

 

p.s. Have you ever noticed that the hashtag #supportthearts kind of looks like “Support Hearts”? When we support the arts… we are also supporting the “hearts” of those artists. That’s pretty cool to me!